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ubit

Pretentious so called professionals

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I am probably in the minority here, but I really enjoy bass guitar magazine . I especially like the little interviews with pro bass players about what gear they use, effects, etc.
The one thing that annoys me is when someone says " I try to play just in front of the beat" or " just behind the beat"
Maybe I'm being stupid, but when I play, I hit the notes at the same time as the drummer as I've always found that to be the optimum method for sounding together.
Is this pretentious sh*te or am I missing some fundamental secret to unlocking my bass mojo?


If so, I've been doing it wrong for 35 years! :(

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This is behind the beat playing. You hear it a lot in blues. You also hear it in funk too.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7rv8pu-0z0[/media]

Edited by gjones

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Yes. I'd say this was definitely behind the beat, too:

http://youtu.be/ABc8ciT5QLs

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Generally, playing 'before' or 'after' the beat is only a gap about the size of a gnats willy, but it does change the overall feel of the piece.

It's one of those things that are incredibly frustrating to get to grips with initially, but are dead easy once you've got the hang of it. :)

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1430580686' post='2762831']
Yes. I'd say this was definitely behind the beat, too:
[/quote]

I often am, but that's an age thing mostly... ;)

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This is a pretty good explanation of playing behind, in front and right on the beat.

http://www.netplaces.com/bass-guitar/the-role-of-the-bass/playing-behind-in-the-middle-and-ahead-of-the-beat.htm

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How can you like reading about pro players gear choices and then call them pretentious when they describe their playing styles?

On the beat (the standard approach), before the beat (aggressive/pushy), behind the beat (laid back groovy). Believe it or don't but those are [i]all [/i]valid ways of playing.

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1430581140' post='2762841']
On the beat (the standard approach), before the beat (aggressive/pushy), behind the beat (laid back groovy). Believe it or don't but those are [i]all [/i]valid ways of playing.
[/quote]

I've always found this intuitive way of thinking about it much easier to get my head around. If I think too hard about playing ahead or behind then I'll just play out of time, but visualising it as a spectrum going from pushy/eager/urgent at one end to that laid back greasy feel at the other end seems to amount to the same thing.

Edited by Beer of the Bass

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If you want to get a handle on playing behind the beat play with a drummer that rushes all the time or speeds up when they do a fill - there's quite a few of the ***** about!

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[quote name='booboo' timestamp='1430581565' post='2762849']
If you want to get a handle on playing behind the beat play with a drummer that rushes all the time or speeds up when they do a fill - there's quite a few of the ***** about!
[/quote]

Yes, I can pass you on a few phone numbers

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1430581140' post='2762841']
How can you like reading about pro players gear choices and then call them pretentious when they describe their playing styles?


[/quote]


Easy!

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I'm a 'behind' player which is what I always gravitate to, so I like a drummer who does the same.
I'm really not a fan of 'pushy' and I'll not really enjoy that, tbh... but I can get along with straight
on it players if I have to. I wouldn't pick one to pay with if that was always his default position, ideally.

What I really don't like is if people play front or back and then can't control the tempo because of
what they are trying to do...
But generally, I'll file them under poor drummers so I'm not interested in playing with them,,,,and I would say
I'm quite/very demanding of drummers in general

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Thank you all for your help in this matter. I have come to the conclusion that this is a thing that happens naturally , because there's no way you could consciously hit each bass note a fraction of a second before the drum hit or a fraction of a second after for that matter. It's a case of feel, which I do have, otherwise I would have got nowhere in my band career. I can play fast and aggressive and slow and moody without ruining the songs. I still find it pretentious for someone to say they consciously play in front of the beat all the time or vice versa, because I still think it's all down to natural feel for the piece. Sorry if I sound awkward, it's just that I have played for years with the thought that you play with the drummer and again, thank you for the explanations and links explaining this.

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[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1430581467' post='2762846']


I've always found this intuitive way of thinking about it much easier to get my head around. If I think too hard about playing ahead or behind then I'll just play out of time, but visualising it as a spectrum going from pushy/eager/urgent at one end to that laid back greasy feel at the other end seems to amount to the same thing.
[/quote]

I think this sums me up ;)

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If you have an ahead guy and a behind guy, then someone is going to have to massively compensate
and the chances are the rhythm section will sound awful... so they aren't a match you'd pick.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1430583726' post='2762884']
If you have an ahead guy and a behind guy, then someone is going to have to massively compensate
and the chances are the rhythm section will sound awful... so they aren't a match you'd pick.
[/quote]

See this is what I mean. I have never consciously played before or after the beat, but we have made decent sounding music together for years, both aggressive and slow, so it's obviously a case of feeling the music. When someone says they do it consciously, I find it hard to believe . It's just a term I have not been used to hearing .

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[quote name='ubit' timestamp='1430584631' post='2762890']
See this is what I mean. I have never consciously played before or after the beat, but we have made decent sounding music together for years, both aggressive and slow, so it's obviously a case of feeling the music. When someone says they do it consciously, I find it hard to believe . It's just a term I have not been used to hearing .
[/quote]

I notice it in drummers and I have trouble with a pushy drummer. I don't find it comfortable and the feel is so much hard work and
has a bias I don't enjoy... This is why I notice it as I don't want to hear/feel or play like that, for the most part.
Of course, it is a conscious effort, albeit natural, as these are the sort of things you talk about when you are trying to
work out a feel for the song. You'd use terms like lanquid, lazy, greasey etc etc for a backbeat and these are all valid studio type
terminologies, IMO.

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There were a couple of things that really annoyed me when I listened back to old home studio recordings. I seemed unable to go into the next bar without some little bass twiddle, and also had a bad habit of being slightly ahead of the beat, even on recordings where we used programmed drums. In fairness, it was often hard to detect, but it seemed to be increasingly obvious the more a track was played.
So I spent the following years – right until now – concentrating very hard on precisely hitting the beat (as well as keeping things simpler) and it sounds infinitely better. Yes, there are types of music where being ahead/behind has a specific beneficial effect, but I’d rather play in time on a recording then move the clip forwards/backwards a tick or two if that helps with urgency/laid-back feel.
For live stuff I want to be bang on because the temptation is always for things to speed up – as it is we seem to play the first half of Set 1 at breakneck speed through lack of rhythmic discipline and control and, as JTUK mentions, a pushy drummer can be a huge problem.

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Agreed, an undisciplined drummer can certainly be a huge problem live -
suddenly all your carefully-crafted songs are at the same bloody tempo!

Edited by discreet

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Is there an element of the following at play as well: if you (drummer or bassist) play behind the beat, there are going to be notes that actually have to catch up so that the next downbeat doesn't keep lagging further and further behind, so playing behind the beat can actually have rushed notes, which makes it all sound like a bit more of a groove, or syncopated, or shuffled. Without actually being about triplets and syncopation. It just sounds... relaxed, but lively. Rather than late. "Slower, but faster," to paraphrase Martin Hannett.

Or is that a load of cobblers. I have no idea.

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Good job no one here is playing in an orchestra. The conductor is - by design - usually a half-beat or a beat ahead of the orchestra, while some instruments (bowed basses) open their note even a little bit ahead of the other players to allow for their instrument's attack.

In any case, playing ahead of or behind the beat is a legitimate and widely recognised musical practice. :)

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The beat is implied and constant.

How you play against that beat is called feel.

As has already been said, laying back or playing behind the beat gives a relaxed feel to the music. Pushing or playing ahead of the beat gives the music a feel of urgency.

You'll find drummers that don't understand the concept will often say a piece of music is too slow and suggest the band plays the tune quicker. It's known as the amateur's disease. To make a tune sound better, they play it faster and louder.

If you find a song doesn't have the energy it's something to look at.

.

Edited by TimR

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